Today, a business accumulates a lot - a lot - of files as time passes, and for the most part, they all need to be stored somewhere. In addition to that, there’s a good chance that multiple people will need to remain involved with these files. These challenges can be resolved by adopting solutions devoted to file sharing and collaboration. To assist with this process, we’ve decided to share a few best practices that will help make your implementation much easier.
Plan Out How Your Files Will Be Organized
Solid collaboration depends on coordinated simplicity. When dealing with shared files, which you undoubtedly will when collaborating, you need to keep things simple; and, to have a plan about how your data is structured. One of the best ways to do this is to be consistent and make sure that file folders aren’t misspelled (or forgotten entirely) and are in the right place. Other practices include:
- Try to keep it to three folder levels deep - You will inevitably go deeper than that, but if you try to keep files as close to the top of the file tree as possible, they immediately become easier to manage.
- Keep documents that belong together, together - Nothing is worse than going to a folder to find a file that is supposed to be there only to find out that it is kept in another folder. If you have shared resources between projects, make copies and file them along with the other project files.
- Name folders according to function - When naming folders, it is important that, if someone were to have to search for it, that they can find it. That is why you want to name folders and files according to their practical purpose.
- Use consistent file types - Have you ever gone looking for a specific file only to find out that the file you were searching for is a completely different type of file? It’s frustrating. Save file types in the manner in which works best for everyone.
- Remove files that don’t have any business being there - A folder can get very sloppy very quickly. If a file doesn’t belong in a folder, don’t save it in the folder.
- Train new members on shared file policies - The thing that will make a shared file management platform work the best is workers that understand how the other people using it manage files. Train your new people to ensure they understand.
Creating a system to govern how and where files are stored will make a lot of difference when people need access to them. That segues nicely into our next point:
Be Collaborative, But Manage Access
The more collaborative your organization intends to be, the more time and effort it will have to spend ascertaining just whom should be given access to what. Why? This is because collaboration dictates that people work together, but if there are people who don’t have anything to do with a project, but have access to that project, negative situations can occur. If you simply manage the resource’s permissions, it keeps this situation from becoming a problem.
The people who do need access, and who get access, typically are people that are reliable enough to not save files and folders in places where they don’t belong. You may initially find this to be overkill, but the first time that a project (or even a task) falls flat because a member of your team had access they didn’t need and some resources go missing or are corrupted, it will cause problems that nobody needs.
Keep Your Platform Secure
In file management, simplicity is key; but security is a must. To that end, selecting a thorough file sharing system that encrypts your data is important. Many people have moved their file sharing and productivity initiatives to the cloud to ensure that they are backed up and available.
A problem with cloud computing, however, is that it doesn’t always give you thorough control over your file management system. If this is where you are at, you can reach out to our IT professionals who can go over your options. We can find a file management system that is perfect for your business. To talk to one of our IT professionals about finding a file management solution that is both full-featured and secure, call us today at 866.546.1004.